Real Estate Tips

    • 5 Steps to Design a DIY Dream Closet

      17 September 2021

      (Family Features) Whether you’re a stylist with an eye for fashion who chooses each garment carefully or the laid-back type who can rock the first outfit you find each morning, the closet provides a location for inspiration. Turning bland closet space into a truly eye-catching room calls for a little planning and DIY creativity.  

      Plan It Out
      Creating the perfect closet space begins with your ideas. Think about the details such as how you want the space to look and the amount and type of storage you need. Envision everything from colors and finishes to the physical shape.

      Focus on Practicality
      Once you’ve dreamed up your ideal closet, compare your ideas with the space you have available and adjust your plans to fit your footprint and budget. This step allows you to get creative with ways to maximize your space and use every available inch to create a closet that gives you the function and aesthetic you desire.

      Keep It Organized
      A beautiful closet likely won’t mean as much for you if it isn’t functional, and organization is a key to true functionality. Keep your space organized in a stylish manner with an option like the ClosetMaid Revolution Storage Ottoman, a convenient, easy-to-assemble, multi-use piece designed for closets or any area of your home. Able to hold up to 12 pairs of shoes, its rotating design maximizes storage for functional appeal.

      Remain Detail-Oriented
      It’s not just the structure that can bring your dream closet to life; little touches can add up in a big way. Upgrade your light fixture, for example, and look for other ways to personalize the space for a look that’s all yours, such as shelving to display treasured photos or keepsakes, or a spot on the wall for a vision board to draw inspiration from as you begin each day.

      Change Up the Color
      Introduce light and personality into your closet with rich color and style. Add accent color on the walls behind your clothes or incorporate color with the structural elements. On-trend finishes can help make the space pop by complementing the colors of your wardrobe.

      Visit closetmaid.com to find more DIY closet inspiration.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Simple Tips to Tackle Credit Card Debt

      17 September 2021

      Credit cards are convenient for shopping and can come in handy during emergencies, but unless you’re careful, it’s easy to rack up debt fast. If you’re one of the millions of Americans that hold credit card debt, the following tips from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors will help set you on your way to living debt-free:

      Hit the Pause Button. Take a look at exactly what you’re spending during any given month, and determine if there are any automated payments that can be eliminated or paused temporarily while you work to pay off your debt. You might even consider putting off large expenses for one year to help you pay your debt off faster.

      Reduce Interest Rates. Once you’ve taken stock of all the credit cards in your wallet, as well as interest rates and minimum payments, call your credit card companies to see if there’s any chance they could waive late payments or reduce interest rates.

      Work Toward Eliminating Your Most Expensive Card First. While it’s important to pay the monthly minimum on all cards to avoid fees, any leftover money should be applied to the card with the highest interest rate. Once you’ve paid this card off, apply the same strategy to the card with the second-highest interest rate while making minimum payments on all other cards. Repeat the process until all of your credit cards have been paid off.

      Create a Written Budget. Putting pen to paper and creating a written budget will go a long way toward helping you stay out of debt in the future. Be sure to include an emergency fund in your budget so that you’re financially prepared should you experience a job loss or health crisis. And don’t forget to check in with your budget each and every month.

      Set Goals and Keep Your Eye on the Prize. Whether it’s saving for a down payment or preparing to go back to school, write down your goals so that you’re more driven to reach them. Remember that the changes you’re making now will help you reach your goals well into the future.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 7 Tips for Using Your Food Processor

      17 September 2021

      Food processors are one of the most helpful kitchen appliances. Whether you need to slice, dice, chop, shred or purée a host of ingredients for a meal, large or small, the handy machine can get the job done quickly with the press of a button. Depending on which model you have, a food processor also typically takes up little space on your kitchen counter or in your cabinets.

      To help you get the most out of your food processor, Consumer Reports offers these seven tips for using the kitchen appliance:

      Always insert the blade before adding food. Set the blade in the work bowl, and make sure the bowl is fitted on the motor base before putting in ingredients. If the blade isn’t sitting correctly, the appliance could break.

      Use the pulse button. This function gets you an even chop without the risk of overprocessing. Otherwise, onions and other foods with a high water content can quickly turn into a purée. Use this for chopping nuts or making salsas.

      Let hot liquids cool down. For your safety, bring hot ingredients to room temperature before processing.

      Purée soup ingredients without stock. Strain out the cooked vegetables from the stock pot, and purée them in the food processor. They’ll blend smoother without liquid. Then whisk the purée back into the strained liquid.

      Partially freeze meats and cheeses. Before processing, get the ingredients really cold, but not frozen solid, for the best ground meat and shredded cheese.

      Be patient when making nut butters. The longer you process, the softer and silkier the butter will be.

      Avoid “mashed” potatoes. Here’s an instance where the food processor won’t come in handy. Cooked potatoes develop a gluey texture when processed with the metal blade. You’d be better off using a stand mixer to make this dish.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Home Cleaning Hacks for Fall

      16 September 2021

      (Family Features) Cooler fall temperatures mean you’re likely to spend more time indoors. Taking time to spruce up inside and out can make you more comfortable and give you peace of mind that your home is tidy, clean and prepared to weather the months ahead.

      Tidy Outdoor Spaces
      Before stashing your lawn care equipment, give your home and landscape some end-of-season attention. Use a power washer to clean lawn furniture and store it away from the elements or use covers to protect it. Clean out gutters and remove debris from flower beds to encourage proper drainage.

      Check for Repair Projects
      Give your home a thorough inspection to identify any problems that need attention before cold weather sets in. Look for concerns like loose shutters or siding, cracked or loose shingles, cracks and gaps around doors and windows that may allow moisture or cold air to creep in. Severe weather and cycles of freezing and thawing can exacerbate these problems, so it’s best to make repairs before they result in major damage.

      Eliminate Dirt and Dust
      Moving indoors, take time to remove any dirt and grime that has accumulated. Wash textiles like curtains and rugs. Wipe down kitchen and bathroom surfaces with an antibacterial solution. Dust other parts of the house, including blinds, windowsills, baseboards and other hard-to-reach places.

      When it comes to vacuuming, make sure to keep floors clean and free of outside dirt all season long with an all-around cleaner that can vacuum and mop simultaneously, like the DEEBOT OZMO T8 AIVI. It provides convenient, efficient, hands-free cleaning you can control via smart home devices. With a built-in HD camera, the AI-powered robot identifies common household obstacles and intelligently determines how to clean around them, while also providing on-demand home monitoring. Complete with laser mapping and navigation technology to scan and map your floors for faster cleaning and fewer missed spots, it is also compatible with an optional, automatic emptying station that allows for up to 30 days of fully maintenance-free cleaning.

      Promote Air Quality
      In addition to keeping floors clean and allergies under control, there are other steps you can take to promote better air quality while you’re spending more time indoors. Scheduling service for your furnace can help ensure it’s in good condition before cold weather hits. This is also a good time to replace your air filter and consider a duct cleaning. Take time to clean ceiling fans and reverse the blades so the air circulates but fans don’t create a chilling effect.

      Swap Seasonal Essentials
      A new season brings change, whether it’s simply swapping out your wardrobe or gearing up for a busy season of school activities and sports. Make time to put away out-of-season clothes and other necessities to make room for the things you’ll need for the autumn months. Keep only the things you need and store the rest to help keep clutter under control.

      Find more tips for efficient fall home maintenance and cleaning at ecovacs.com.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Clean Your Gutters in 5 Steps

      16 September 2021

      It might not be anyone’s favorite chore, but cleaning your home’s gutters is an essential maintenance task not to be overlooked. When leaves, sticks and other gunk clog your gutters, it can lead to serious and costly issues, such as foundation problems, leaky basements and attic damage.

      To help keep your home in good shape and save money, you should clean your gutters at least two times a year, depending on where you live, which types of trees you have on your property and other factors.

      HomeAdvisor suggests following these five steps to debris-free gutters:

      Step 1: Get Prepared. Put on a long-sleeved shirt and heavy rubber gloves to protect yourself from sharp edges on your gutters. Also, be sure to wear non-slip shoes to ensure a good grip on your ladder.

      Step 2: Set Yourself Up. Secure your ladder to the roof, and use standoff stabilizers to avoid damaging your gutters. Put a bucket or drop cloth on the ground below your work area to catch any falling debris.

      Step 3: Remove Your Gutter Covers. Unscrew your gutter covers, and set them aside. Be sure to place your covers in a safe location away from your work area so they don’t get damaged.

      Step 4: Clean Out Large Debris. Now you’re ready for the fun part! Begin at the drain outlet, and use your hands or a trowel to remove any leaves, sticks or other clutter from your gutters. It’s best to scoop out debris when it’s damp, not dry and stuck to the inside of your gutter.

      Step 5: Flush Your Gutters. Use a hose with a high-pressure nozzle to flush smaller materials out of your gutters. If the water isn’t draining, it could be a sign that your downspout is clogged. To clear downspout buildup, install a nozzle onto your hose and set it to full pressure. Insert the hose from the bottom of your spout and snake it upwards. You can also use a plumber’s snake to clear difficult blockage.

      If you’re pressed for time, afraid of heights or unable to clean your gutters for some other reason, HomeAdvisor suggests hiring a professional to tackle the job. The money spent on this important home maintenance task would be well worth it in the long run.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.